For Beatrice And Bianca
There is an air of suspense hanging over the novel as a forty year old feud comes to a head. Grasping greed, dodgy dealings and corrupt goings on are the order of the day. They contrast with open handed, big hearted generosity and a concern for others. “I can build things to make life better for the people around me.” Life was hard for the poor in 1903 in New York City. As their lives grew tougher so unscrupulous businessmen took what little they had.
The world was changing. This is reflected in the telegraph offices of the big news agencies in New York. Innovation was the word of the day. Some preferred the age old method of carrier pigeon for security.
Money and the pursuit of power are major themes. These wreck lives as characters contribute to their own downfall. Money can bring freedom and choice but brings corruption if placed on a pedestal and worshipped.
Mental illnesses were little understood in 1903. Terrible institutions sprang up and an abuse of power by those who were in charge ensued. There are some hard to read scenes. PTSD was unheard of but men were suffering from it, following the Boer War.
The English aristocracy and New York tonne meet in the novel. For a society built on its people and not status, the rich New Yorkers seem mighty interested in the British titles.
There were light hearted moments in the story. The verbal exchange between two of the leading characters was wonderful. I loved the inclusion of nicknames to show their comfort with each other.
The leading lady was a wonderful modern miss of her time. In a decade when thoughts were turning to the suffragette movement in England, it was a breath of fresh air to see a woman taking an interest in a man’s world.
A Dangerous Legacy is a marvellous and compelling read. I love all Elizabeth Camden’s novels and can recommend buying this one. More please Elizabeth Camden.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.